I will be honest... One thing that drew me to review a book called Marry Wisely Marry Well was the fact that maybe I would learn something in why my marriage has failed. Maybe knowing that there may be something I hadn't considered or been able to fix.
Fix is such a strong word when it comes to marriage, isn't it?
Think about it...
How can "one" "fix it" in a marriage?
The answer is really simple honestly. Which is that they can't.
I know... not the most popular answer but it is true!
I don't agree with the notion that cohabitation before marriage is a bad thing. I hate this Christian idea that is filled with falseness. "It shows in studies how it is bad" is simply not true. In fact, I bet you can find way more studies that show it's a good thing because then you learn more about your mate. I didn't do this, but to each their own.
I love the idea though of preparing oneself, both man and woman, for marriage before even being in a relationship. I love this idea because you learn more about yourself in the process. You are not looking for prince charming or princess in distress. You are being real in real time about who you are and what you need and expectations are.
I love that it breaks down Chapters by questions. Each chapter answers one question and the part (or unit) has an overall theme to it. I like this because frankly I can skip sections I feel like aren't worth it as much to me.
One of the chapters in part 1 that intrigued me was about how people are attracted to each other. Because it really is like a magnetic pull that seems divined a lot of the time. At least to me. Maybe it is just me but I don't think it is.
In the beginning of Chapter 3 I think he oversimplifies what attraction is, like we have control over it. We don't. I don't care if he disagrees with me but attraction is even scientifically proven to not be something one can control. However something that was powerful food for thought I can appreciate is this:
"It was attempting to return to the scene of your original frustration so that you could resolve your unfinished business..." pg 38
That simple idea pulled out is actually a powerful one. What if we are finding mates to help us finish what we are simply needing to further us as people. To help us with our unfinished business. Such a ghostly term but there is so much truth I feel in it. Perhaps that is why we also fall out of love too.
I love in here that it does ask you to look at your attraction more closely but I want to throw this book. I don't say that about many books at all. (I love me my books). But this book is asking, actually not just telling, but forcing or trying to an idea onto you that no matter what you are wrong and so is your attraction because the bible tells you so.
While there are things I can appreciate about the book, because I am a glass half full kind of person, to me, the way this book is written is rather demeaning of what God means to have love and marriage be. I am quite offended by it and this is one reason I would stay clear of the church this person went to.
It sounds like he is writing it for his 3 daughters so they don't get in a bad relationship but goes overboard with it. This could be totally wrong, but just comes from a male perspective but also looking to justify erratic standings with just the bible alone. God is so much more than the bible. So much more and trying to define everything God is by it alone is an insult to the very God he is trying to quote.
One thing I can completely agree with him on is pornography in the way that many people use it (to objectify women specifically and get instant gratification rather than through actual experience. And it hurts when it is done behind the back of the wife or girlfriend and also places unrealistic expectations on them that we can't perform in real life)...
"God made the sexual relationship to be beautiful for a husband and a wife, but pornography distorts and exploits the beauty of the body." pg 41
"To give you extra motivation to work on understanding your heart, you need to understand that it is fundamentally about worship." pg 43.
Okay, now I want to throw the book again. It is not fundamentally about that. Sorry. This is just not right. I can tell you that right now. God even says so in the bible. That he gave man and woman to each other. To make each other whole. Not to fundamentally worship him. Yes, God should be part and center of it according to much theology and I don't disagree with that portion but the way this is written is insulting.
On the other hand it provides great questions to ask yourself.
"Is my attraction just for the physical or am I spiritually attracted to them?"
"Is it out of neediness?"
"Is it more important than God?"
He goes on to talk about premarital fantasies and marital realities. While at first I am like, dude, nothing is black and white (but apparently they are for you) I kept reading. He redeemed himself by showing with some of the examples that we need to make sure we are not looking for the other to fill our personal insecurities and making them idols and feeling let down when they don't fill it.
I do like that he asks helpful questions at the end of the chapters for your self reflection.
On page 56, he goes through why marriage is important, especially in this day and age and I couldn't agree more. Things like that it is good for society because married men tend to work better and harder. The fact that it is better for children. The fact that is having a oneness not experienced anywhere else.
I think the most helpful part of the book is the skills you need to be a relationship. Things I feel I didn't learn growing up and could have done better at in my own marriage. Communication is everything. We just have such different styles of communication. But that is not what did our marriage in, as if you cared. But it was insightful.
Overall, this book is like a strict unrealistic code that doesn't seem real to me. I am sorry. I have read most of the book and wanted to throw it many times. It just feels like a conservative church using the bible to back up their thoughts and thoughts are that not totally well thought out or backed up.
Again, some very good things in here but I just feel this is not a book I would recommend to my Christian friends. It could have been written so much better and still gotten the points across and I would have actually really liked it.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*